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Monday, August 4, 2008

"The Only Important Thing Is what you Make of Yourself." Jürgen Klinsmann

Bayern Muenchen Team Presentation
A few days ago, an interesting article by Alexander Osang appeared in Spiegel Online:

"The Coming of Klinsmann: Bayern Munich's Path to Enlightenment."

Here were a few excerpts about the new head coach and his project at Bayern Munich:

His First Tasks

"Jürgen didn't talk about new players right away. He just wanted to help shape the training environment. He explained this to all of us. Jürgen is sensational when it comes to explaining things. Of course, we didn't know how far the whole thing would go," says (Uli) Hoeness, beaming. (Herr Hoeness, a former Bayern Munich legend, is the team manager).

"When co-coach Martin Vasquez, who Klinsmann brought along from Los Angeles, said, at a party at Hoeness' house on Lake Tegern, that he was deeply honored to be part of the Bayern family, Uli almost broke down, says someone who was there."

The Bayern Munich Identity

"FC Bayern Munich has defined itself in the last few decades," says Klinsmann. "'We are ourselves' -- that's the philosophy," he says. He wants his players to watch videos of old matches. When they do, they'll be watching legendary players like Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner and Gerd Müller in short shorts, as well as Hoeness and Rummenigge, their manager and chairman respectively. The goal is for today's players, like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Luca Toni, to realize that they too are part of an ongoing history. And that they will continue to write this history, says Klinsmann."

Education of Footballers

"He says that it was a "brutal wake-up call" when, after 18 years as a professional football player, he realized that his only educational achievement was his certificate as a journeyman baker. He had learned all kinds of languages and gotten to know interesting people, but he never moved out of his little football world, he says. He started learning. He took classes in computers, languages, all kinds of things. He took a look at the college system that every American professional athlete has to go through. He discovered that American athletes continue to derive benefit from their education on the playing field."

"Jürgen believes that you can solve every problem with education," says Klinsmann's advisor Eitel. "Positive education. He is never against anything, just always in favor of something."

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